australian-aid-white-2
Follow us on:
Search the Knowledge Hub

Almost 25 million jobs could be lost worldwide as a result of COVID-19, says ILO

International Labour Organization

2020

Global

Article

Workplace Gender Equality

Gender equality Workplace Gender Equality underemployment unemployment workers social protection poverty working poor occupational safety and health safety management

Almost 25 million jobs could be lost worldwide as a result of COVID-19, says ILO

Almost 25 million jobs could be lost worldwide as a result of COVID-19, says ILO

An initial assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on the global world of work says the effects will be far-reaching, pushing millions of people into unemployment, underemployment and working poverty, and proposes measures for a decisive, coordinated and immediate response.

 

GENEVA (ILO News) – The economic and labour crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic could increase global unemployment by almost 25 million, according to a new assessment by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

However, if we see an internationally coordinated policy response, as happened in the global financial crisis of 2008/9, then the impact on global unemployment could be significantly lower.

The preliminary assessment note, COVID-19 and the world of work: Impacts and responses , calls for urgent, large-scale and coordinated measures across three pillars: protecting workers in the workplace, stimulating the economy and employment, and supporting jobs and incomes.

These measures include extending social protection, supporting employment retention (i.e. short-time work, paid leave, other subsidies), and financial and tax relief, including for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. In addition, the note proposes fiscal and monetary policy measures, and lending and financial support for specific economic sectors.

Different scenarios

Based on different scenarios for the impact of COVID-19 on global GDP growth, the ILO estimates indicate a rise in global unemployment of between 5.3 million (“low” scenario) and 24.7 million (“high” scenario) from a base level of 188 million in 2019. By comparison, the 2008-9 global financial crisis increased global unemployment by 22 million.

Underemployment is also expected to increase on a large scale, as the economic consequences of the virus outbreak translate into reductions in working hours and wages. Self-employment in developing countries, which often serves to cushion the impact of changes, may not do so this time because of restrictions on the movement of people (e.g. service providers) and goods.

Falls in employment also mean large income losses for workers. The study estimates these as being between USD 860 billion and USD 3.4 trillion by the end of 2020. This will translate into falls in consumption of goods and services, in turn affecting the prospects for businesses and economies.

 

Read the full article on the ILO website.

Copyright © International Labour Organization 2020

 

 

 

to top